“SCO” Gang Member Sentenced within a Year of Arrest on Drug Charges
PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Braddock, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to five years’ (60 months’) imprisonment and four years of supervised release on his conviction of narcotics trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Senior United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Rand Wolford, age 32.
According to information presented to the Court, the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force conducted a long-term investigation of drug trafficking occurring in and around the Braddock suburb of Pittsburgh. Wolford and other individuals were identified as members or associates of a neighborhood based street gang, self-titled "SCO", which illegally distributed controlled substances in the Greater Pittsburgh region. In January of 2019, investigators obtained authorization to conduct a federal wire investigation, which continued through May of 2019.
Wolford, along with 32 others were indicted in June of 2019 by a federal grand jury in three separate, but related, Indictments.
As to Wolford, the Court was informed that intercepted communications confirmed that Wolford was conspiring with others to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances. Wolford admitted, in conjunction with his guilty plea, that he is a member of "SCO" and was responsible for distributing multiple ounce quantities of cocaine base, commonly known as crack, into the community. The Court was further informed that in conjunction with intercepted communications, law enforcement obtained additional information, including physical and electronic surveillance, which confirmed that Wolford met with other members of the conspiracy at a location in Braddock where they processed cocaine into cocaine base.
Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca L. Silinski prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Brady commended the multi-agency team, which was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Wolford. Partners in this investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Allegheny
County Sheriff’s Office, Allegheny County Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Other assisting agencies included the Monroeville Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, Wilkinsburg Police Department, and Allegheny County Adult Probation.
The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.